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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Self-Medicating for Mental Health Problems

Self-medicating for mental health problems is a major problem in America. According to a new study conducted by a drug and alcohol treatment and recovery center, depression and anxiety are the top reasons older adults abuse drugs or alcohol.

The study found that 63 percent of older adults blamed depression and anxiety for their substance use. Thirty percent said economic and financial stress was to blame, while 20 percent cited retirement as contributing factors to dependency.

Almost half of survey respondents named both prescription drugs and alcohol as their substance of choice, according to a press release from the treatment facility that conducted the study.

“Older adults face a distinct set of changes and challenges as they enter their golden years,” said Dr. Barbara Krantz, Medical Director at a drug treatment facility. “This transitional period of life is challenging, and may lead to difficulty in dealing with stressful situations, such as an early retirement or new financial strains, which in turn may lead to serious anxiety and depression. Without the proper tools to manage their emotions, baby boomers and seniors may turn to quick fixes such as alcohol and drugs, creating the perfect storm for dependency.”

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